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Written by Hank Tolman   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition Video Card
Closer Look: MSI N650Ti Power Edition
N650Ti PE Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Aliens vs Predator
Lost Planet 2
Passion Leads Army
Unigine Heaven 3.0
A New Dawn
Temperature and Power Consumption
GTX 650 Ti Final Thoughts
MSI N650Ti PE Conclusion

A New Dawn

Back in the early 2000's NVIDIA was working on an intense graphics benchmark called Dawn. While we never saw the fruits of that, NVIDIA has now released the next iteration in that line; a similar benchmark called A New Dawn. The original Dawn demo had many merits, but due to the limitations of hardware at the time, it also took many short cuts. One of the most obvious was the fact that Dawn didn't really have a home. Fairies, as we all know, live in the depth of mysterious forests, but for Dawn, her home was a giant glowing cube map-a six-sided texture that represented the environment around her. She had no trees to climb, no bees or butterflies to play with. She was a very lonely fairy.

The original Dawn demo used a very simple but effective technique to simulate one aspect of skin shading called rim lighting. It worked by isolating the silhouette of the character and letting light from behind the character bleed through, giving an illusion of translucent skin. This worked well for the silhouette when exposed to strong light, but was less convincing for other portions of the character.

A New Dawn uses a complex but efficient sub-surface scattering shader, first pioneered with the Luna demo introduced with the GeForce 7800 GTX. To smartly manage workload, the new skin shader dynamically selects the number of samples to filter, depending on how visible the surface is. Detail maps are used to capture fine hairs, bumps, and skin imperfections. Four independent textures describe the oil content of the skin. (Information from

A New Dawn is an extremely taxing benchmark with Ultra settings on. Also, as a quick note, since NVIDIA pioneered this benchmark, it is a pretty safe bet to imagine that it should run better on NVIDIA graphics cards. Because of that, a patch was released to make it a viable benchmarking tool for AMD cards as well. Using the AMD patch, we were able to test our AMD cards alongside the NVIDIA cards.

  • A New Dawn
    • 1920x1080, Ultra On


That's it for the benchmarks, move on ahead for power and temperature testing.



# RE: MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition Video CardDavid Kirschbaum 2012-10-09 08:33
"... extra $50 or $60 it will take me to get a GTX 660 for the extra CUDA Cores, the 192-bit memory bus, and the GPU boost. " Sorry, but every price I see for the GTX 660 (Amazon, Tiger Direct, NewEgg) are all $310 to $330 .. TWICE the price of the GTX N650Ti. Hardly a trivial increase. I'll go with the N650Ti .. and thanks much for the good review.
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# GTX 660 vs GTX 660TiHank Tolman 2012-10-09 08:49
Are you sure you aren't looking at the GTX 660Ti? I just looked up GTX 660 on and the first 6 are $229 whereas the GTX 650Ti's are going for anywhere from $159.99 to $179.99.

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# GTX 660 vs GTX 660TiGeorge Caldwell 2014-01-24 23:34
My 650Ti only cost me $104 dollars new with a nice warranty, So I have no idea were $159.99 to $179.99 came from. That is not enough performence increase at all to even justify paying $40-50 dollars more. Let alone a hundred dollars more.
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# RE: GTX 660 vs GTX 660TiOlin Coles 2014-01-25 07:10
The $159.99 price tag came from Tuesday, 09 October 2012. That's when this product launched and this article was published.
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